Sunday 16 December 2012

6th Day of Christmas: Senior Editor Imogen Cooper of Chicken House

... an editor in search of golden eggs 

Imogen Cooper is Senior Editor at Chicken House - that marvelous publishing house that brought to you such gems as Lucy Christopher's Stolen, Numbers by Rachel Ward and Muncle Trogg by Janet Foxley. Recently Imogen launched the Golden Egg Academy,
offering courses for children's writers. Here's a video of Imogen explaining how it works:

On the sixth day of Christmas … AKA Geese a-laying! I think I’m supposed to tell you what perfect manuscript I’d like gift wrapped and sent to me – but, of course, I know that there’s no such thing as a perfect manuscript.

At the Golden Egg Academy, we would like the Golden Egg Christmas slush pile to bring: sparkling writers with open, creative minds full of ideas, willing to work with an experienced editor; delicious manuscripts with big concepts in need of development; and a hefty sprinkle of engaging openings, multi-dimensional characters, wonderful action and terrific endings! In short we’d like a blizzard of brilliant minds, a shower of glittering ideas and a sack of inspiring stories! OK? 

Imogen Cooper 
I shall expand …

1. Creative minds: you have the talent, we have what it takes to unlock it. At Golden Egg we believe that there are many talented writers out there in need of careful nurturing by experienced editors, in small groups or one-to-one. We want to work with your mind to achieve your vision for your book.

2. Big ideas? We want them! In tough publishing times like these, it’s the big idea that gets an author a contract. If you think you have an original idea, one you don’t see represented in your bookshop, we want to hear from you. We can help you craft that idea into an exciting novel.

3. Engaging openings, well-paced action, multi-dimensional characters and terrific endings. These are not the only elements to create a great novel, but they’re a good start! We’d love to see your opening chapters, but make sure that they pack a punch and give us a flavour of the story to come. Don’t send in the first three chapters if you feel that they’re not representative of your book as a whole. Send a tasty nugget from the middle – or an amazing ending, if you prefer – but include a one-page synopsis so it’s clear how it fits into the story as a whole.

To be a good writer, you need to understand your story from the inside out and know what lies at its heart. That is what the Golden Egg Academy is all about.

Golden Egg is run by a team of experienced children's publishing and creative writing professionals. It aims to provide creative support, networking opportunities and industry-led direction to talented writers for children. If you want to be part of our story, send us three chapters of your work and a one-page synopsis.  (See our website for more details.)

Have a happy, creative Christmas!

Imogen Cooper, The Chicken House
with my Golden Egg colleagues:
Dr Vanessa Harbour, Winchester University
Beverley Birch, Hodder Children’s Books
Christine O’Brien, The Chicken House 

Join our Facebook community: Golden Egg Workshops for Children’s Writers


  1. Eggzactly what we need! And it's happening in the South West, and not London - even better.

  2. I guess writers are not the only ones who yearn for the days when publishing houses used to have the time to nurture talent. Lesley's right - it's exactly what we writers are looking for ... but I'll bet editors wish they had this kind of time to work with their authors and help them discover their potential. What an impressive list of editors!

  3. This is such a brilliant idea - and an absolutely fantastic team behind it.

  4. This is great news and a very informative, encouraging post. Many thanks indeed.


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